Just picture these "P" Gardens!
|The ruined abbey overlooking one of the lakes at Painshill Landscape Garden, Surrey|
I skipped the "N"s because there weren't enough of them to whet your appetite and have moved on to perfect, picturesque and panoramic gardens only to realise that I've never reviewed most of them properly, so need to revisit many of these in the new year. Painshill Park in Surrey is one of those gardens that's hard to forget - a wonderful landscape rather than manicured garden - with dramatic touches like the ruined abbey (above) overlooking one of the lakes that are integral to the landscape. It comes complete with Grotto, Gothic Tower and and Turkish tent, but more of this when I review it properly next year!
You'll find an equally dramatic landscape at Painswick Rococo in Gloucestershire (above) - another exquisitely restored 18th-century landscape garden that I have yet to review, but have marked in the diary for the snowdrops in early 2011. This glorious 10-acre garden in the Cotswolds has a magical and mystical quality to it. It was only rediscovered in the 1980s - prior to that it was completely overgrown, but restoration work began in 1984 and it's now open to the public from January to October. Well worth visiting for its snowdrops and fabulous tulip displays later in the season.
Parham House - always a favourite with its wonderful walled garden, filled to overflowing with tulips in the spring and glorious borders throughout the summer months. The house was built in 1577 and makes a spectacular backdrop for the gardens, which have been developed during the last 100 years. Every month there's something else in bloom here, so it's definitely a garden to visit throughout the seasons - each time I return I find something else to make me gasp!
Pashley Manor in East Sussex - another magnificent garden, famous for its Tulip Festival in spring time (27th April - 9th May 2011), but worth visiting at any time because, like Parham, there's always something in bloom and it changes throughout the seasons.
Pine Lodge Gardens in Cornwall (above) will always occupy a special place in my heart because I spent so many hours there while my father was in the hospice nearby. This is a really wonderful garden, lovingly tended by its owners and just a stone's throw from the Eden Project, Lanhydrock and many of the other magnificent Cornish gardens, so don't miss it if you're in the area. It's one of the few properties in the UK that has a special winter garden. Fantastic snowdrop displays early in the season!
Polesden Lacey in Surrey was one-time home to a noted Edwardian political hostess - Mrs Ronald Greville, who created the gardens after she came to live here in 1906. Today it is under the stewardship of the National Trust and is famous for its roses (above), irises and the wonderful walled garden. Stunning views over the Surrey countryside because of its hillside position and yet another garden that has slipped through my reviewing net, but with a definite mark in the dairy for 2011!